Troy

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Troy

It was a city, both factual and legendary, located in northwest Anatolia in what is now Turkey, southeast of the Dardanelles and beside Mount Ida. It is best known for being the setting of the Trojan War described in the Greek Epic Cycle and especially in the Iliad, one of the two epic poems attributed to Homer. Metrical evidence from the Iliad and the Odyssey seems to show that the name Ἴλιον formerly began with a digamma: Ϝίλιον (Wilion). This was later supported by the Hittite form Wilusa. A new city called Ilium was founded on the site in the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus. It flourished until the establishment of Constantinople and declined gradually during the Byzantine era.

In 1865, English archaeologist Frank Calvert excavated trial trenches in a field he had bought from a local farmer at Hisarlık, and in 1868, Heinrich Schliemann, wealthy German businessman and archaeologist, also began excavating in the area after a chance meeting with Calvert in Çanakkale.  These excavations revealed several cities built in succession. Schliemann was at first skeptical about the identification of Hissarlik with Troy, but was persuaded by Calvert and took over Calvert’s excavations on the eastern half of the Hissarlik site, which was on Calvert’s property. Troy VII has been identified with the Hittite Wilusa, the probable origin of the Greek Ἴλιον, and is generally (but not conclusively) identified with Homeric Troy.

The ancient city of Troy is situated some 30 kms from Çanakkale, near Tevfikiye village in intepe.

Çanakkale is located in the northwest of Turkey, straddling the Dardanelles famous strait which separates the continnents of Europe and Asia.Streching across both the Aegean and Marmara regions, the city is surrounded by Balıkesir to the southheast, the Aegean Sea to the west, and Tekirdağ and the Sea of Marmara to the north.

Known in history as Troas, the history of Çanakkale region as a place of settlement goes back to 5000 BC (Late Nerolithic Age), It spreads over an area of 9737 km² and its coastline is 671 km long.

Geographically, Troy is set at a strategic point, at the crossroads of two continents where trade routes converge. The significance of Troy is not due only to the value of the archaeological finds discovered here, but also to the skill of Homer, the famous bard from Izmir, who immortalized Troy in ‘The Iliad’. This epic story has proved to have a lasting attraction throughout the ages.

 

Priam was the patriotic king of rich and prosperous Troy. The strategic importance of his country’s location made it all the more desirable to the colonies. Paris, King Priam’s son, was asked by the God, Zeus, to be the judge at the world’s first beauty contest set on Mt. Ida. Aphrodite, Hera and Athena were to be the contestants.

Each of these goddesses offeded him a bribe to be chosen as the most beautiful. Hera promised to make him Lord od Europe and Asia; Athena that he would lead the Trojans to victory against the Achaeans; and Aphrodite, that the fairest woman in the world would be his. Paris chose Aphrodite and awarded her the coveted golden apple. He then travelled directly to Spart to see Helen, the fairest woman in the world.

Upon seeing Helen, the wife of Menelaus, Paris fell in love with her, and she with him and they eloped together for Troy. Menelaus, supposing that Helen had been abducted by Paris, set off to Troy to take her back with a huge army consisting of hundreds of fleets. This was the cause of the Trojan War, which continued for ten years.

King Agamemnon was in command of the colonies, which had been waiting for many years for the opportunity to conquer Troy.

The invincible warrior, Achilles, blessed with invulnerability in every part of his body except his heel, entered into the war with the Myrmidons to gain glory. Hector, son of King Priam, was a successful warrior, astounding all the Achaean kings with his prowess, and a migthy commander who loved his country. Troy could not be captured due to the strength of its walls and the success of Hector, and the war continued for 9 years without any result.Odysseus, howerer, understood that they could only capture. Troy with the help of a clever strategy. According to his plan, the Achaeans gave the impression that they had given up fighting and were returning home, leaving behind a gigantic Wooden Horse as a gift to the Trojans. The Trojans accepted the gift supposing that it was a votive offerng to the Gods and look it into the city walls. The warriors, hiden inside the wooden horse, got out of it at night whilst the inhabbitants of the city were asleep and opened the city gate to let the other warriors inside. Thus, they captured Troy and looted the city.

Heinnrich Schliemann, who had grown up with the fascinating stories of Troy, began excavations to realize his dream of finding Homer’s Troy on the hills of Hisarlık in Çanakkale in 1871.

Following his dream of locating the magnificent treasures of King Priam’s Troy, Schliemann caused extensive damage during his excavations. He also took the priceless artefacts, which he discovered, out of Turkey illegally. In subsequent periods, the excavations were organized systematically and carried out by the team of Cincinnati Universty under the supervision of Carl Blegen. Since 1988, the excavation work has been continued by an international team consisting of many archaeologists under the supervision of Prof.Dr. Manfred Korfmann from the University of Tübingen. Restoration work is still being carried out, as well as geophysical and topographic work.

The ancient city of Troy, which has great significance for European history and literature, was declared a Historic National Park with the approval of the relevant Turkish Ministries and added to the World Culturel Heritage List by UNESCO in 1996

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